Though I didn’t really anticipate it, this week became “Steve Cishek Week” for me. I ended up adding him in five leagues, and I already owned him in two others. In a couple of cases he was a priority, and in a couple of others he was won with “keep ’em honest” bids. If you find a player valuable out there but don’t necessarily need him, it still may be worth your while to add him, especially if the cost isn’t that punitive. That’s especially true in leagues where you can trade, but it doesn’t need to be limited to that format. In the NFBC, for instance, we can’t trade, but I’m happy to deny my opponents a needed closer, plus you never know when your current one is going to get hurt or lose his effectiveness. In some cases, all it takes are consecutive bad outings before a closer is given the next save chance off, or worked in a lesser role, and it can devolve from there. If you have a roster spot available, it makes sense to go ahead and use it if you can get the player inexpensively.
AL Tout Wars
Howard Bender: res TKemp Hou, pur CTilson CWS 167
Howard Bender: res RLovelady KC, pur ChMartin Tex 167
Nando DiFino: rel EPhillips Bal, pur CMartin Hou 355
Nando DiFino: rel SBrito Tor, pur SLong Sea 65
Nando DiFino: res SBolt Oak, pur JDavis Tor 44
Chris Liss: res FWhitley Hou, pur SBarlow KC 5
Chris Liss: rel NRamirez Cle, pur TKahnle NYY 5
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: res BreAnderson Oak, pur TPannone Tor 0
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: res BDixon Det, pur JMateo Oak 1
Jeff Erickson: res LRengifo LAA, pur SWilkerson Bal 17
Patrick Davitt: res JBour LAA, pur RMountcastle Bal 39
Jason Collette: res DDeShields Tex, pur JLuplow Cle 25
Jason Collette: rel BWorkman Bos, pur ACashner Bal 6
Mike Gianella: res BBoxberger KC, pur AKolarek TB 0
Chris Berman wanted to come out of hiding just to announce the results of all AL-only FAAB bidding this week, calling it My Favorite Martin Week, with Corbin Martin and Chris Martin drawing two of the three biggest bids this week. I actually had an aggressive bid on Corbin Martin, originally starting off at $203, then lowering it to $177, thinking that most of the winning bids on top pitching prospects didn’t top $150. But the recency bias of Martin’s start, his pedigree and his team context drove up his price, so I ended up well below Nando Di Fino’s $355. It turns out I had the second-highest bid, so in a small way I was justified in lowering my price. Doug Dennis and Larry Schechter also had bids over $100.
My consolation prize was Steve Wilkerson, who is playing regularly in center field for the Orioles, though if his 1:20 BB:K ratio is any indication, that newfound regular status will not last for long.
NFBC Main Event
This was one of those bids where I was making sure the league didn’t get the windfall on a closer on a good team. Bidding closed at 7:00 pm PT, or about 10 minutes before Cishek converted the save in the Sunday night game against the Brewers. But I already was in on him, thinking that he was the first choice to close games with Pedro Strop on the IL. He’s had three straight good seasons prior to this one, has closing experience, and while the walk rate is a tick higher than I’d prefer, I think he’ll keep the job for at least as long as Pedro Strop is out, perhaps even after he returns.
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As for Gutierrez, it’s a combo of me taking the “L” on Luis Rengifo, who got sent back down by the Angels, and a $1 stab at another hitter playing regularly. I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about Gutierrez, and he’s already starting to cool off (1 walk, 16 strikeouts), but I’m hoping that he’s useful for the first half of the week when he has three home games against the Rangers. Still, the descriptions about him from Erik Siegrist (“a less exciting Yuli Gurriel”) and James Anderson (“a destitute man’s Ke’Bryan Hayes”) aren’t very encouraging!
RotoWire Online Championship (BJE1)
Ah yes, nothing like having the highest bid for the week and seeing it unopposed. I’d better be right about Cishek. Saves are pretty tightly clustered in this league – I’m tied for fourth with 20, one behind third place but eight saves behind second place, but with everyone in the league with at least 12 saves. This league is going to be a dogfight in all 10 categories. I’m hoping to build up a short-term buffer so that I can max-out two-step starters later in the season.
RotoWire Online Championship (BJE2)
This is the first of two leagues where I had to replace Mike Zunino, and boy it’s ugly when replacing a catcher, even in a 12-team mixed league.
spent wasted a mid-round pick thinking that Trevor May was going to be my second closer, I’m happy to have overpaid for Cishek in this league. Tyler Yates has kept me competitive in saves all by himself. Greiner is a risky add, but at least the Tigers have seven games this week.
This is another happy but surprising win. I bid more for Cishek than Chris Martin, but like the OC, Martin went for more.
I have two (2) saves so far in LABR, so getting a closer on the waiver wire is a priority for me. After seeing the NFBC and FSTA results already, I wasn’t that surprised that I won Cishek, but again the margin is troubling – especially because this league doesn’t allow for $0 bids. I should know better and have bid something like $7 and trusted that I would get him. This team needs more balance – I’m crushing it in four hitting categories (all but SB), wins and strikeouts, but hurting in saves, ERA and WHIP. That’s what starting eight, sometimes even nine SP will do for you. I feel a trade coming.
RotoWire Staff Keeper
Charlie Tilson was a frequent target in my leagues – maybe I should have considered him more than I did. He already has three stolen bases at the big league level and once had 41 in a minor league season, despite running less often last year.
Liss caught a bad break with Jonathan Loaisiga – this is at least the second “Monday surprise” sprung by the Yankees this year.